First Impressions of… Heroes of Hammerwatch

The adventuring life.

One of being eviscerated by traps, stabbed by skeletons, poisoned by giant maggots, and tormented by ghastly apparitions. One of climbing a tower to rid the nearby town of the evils that plague it, but having to pay an absurd amount of tax on any riches found within. And one of never being appreciated, despite all
that you’ve done for the benefit of others. Making it fairly analogous to every other career path. Heroes of Hammerwatch is a challenging journey through devilish dungeons, treacherous traps, perplexing puzzles, and brutal bosses.

Not that regular enemies are any less threatening.

Those can just as easily- and as abruptly- end an attempt, as became painfully apparent on many different occasions. Those failures weren’t as detrimental to my efforts as they could’ve been, though. As there were numerous forms of incremental progression that I was contributing to.

Progression that often involves The Outlook, as any resources that are recovered from expeditions can be invested into the town. Most buildings require (costly) upgrades to the Town Hall, but some only become available once an NPC has been rescued. New character classes are also unlocked in a similar fashion. Most require you to rescue an NPC and then unlock their associated building. Be it the Apothecary, the Tavern, the Chapel, the Guild Hall, or the Blacksmith these buildings are crucial to your eventual success. With some providing temporary buffs which last as long as the current attempt, others permanently strengthening your characters, and others unlocking entirely new progression mechanics. Exponentially increasing the chances that the next attempt won’t be an utter failure. Just a regular failure.

Be cleansed by fire!

There are a total of nine character classes, with seven available in the base game, and two available in
their respective DLC, of which five are unlocked by default and four are unlocked during your adventures. Along with the aforementioned mechanics, this results in a ludicrously content-dense experience that is enjoyable throughout. It is, however, one that requires a significant investment of time, but one that boasts considerable longevity for that investment. Progress is made slowly and steadily, but is always meaningful when it is made.

And is often immensely satisfying to witness.

Even if you’re immediately slain by something on the next floor. Knowing that you’ve made that progress is fulfilling enough. Especially when defeating a boss for the first time awards that character with a title related to their character class, which benefits every character under that profile.

Which does encourage you to invest time into building one of every character class, but that doesn’t become necessary as the passive benefits afforded by them might not be worth that investment. Such as the +% Gold Bonus from the Thief titles. You can attain similar (or better) benefits elsewhere, and those don’t require you to conceive an entirely new character build. One that you might not even enjoy playing. Or one that you might struggle to defeat bosses with. These mechanics do reward those who do build one of each character class, though. Which is great for me. I’m always doing that. But these unusual mechanics are what define Heroes of Hammerwatch as an experience, as they affect progression in ways that you might not expect. And that’s why I highly recommend it to those wishing to embrace their failures on a regular basis.

Have a nice weekend, all!